Thinking About the Nurture of Adults

. Posted in DCE's Blog

When I was 12, my dad was transferred and my family moved to Vermilion, Ohio; it's a small town right on Lake Erie and about 40 miles west of Cleveland. Immediately our family began to search for a church. There were no Presbyterian churches in the town and certainly no Cumberland Presbyterian church.

In the quest for a church, we discovered a denomination unfamiliar to us, the United Church of Christ. There happened to be two UCC churches in town. We visited the first of the two. The people were friendly. The worship service was good, but there were no children or younger youth in worship. As it turned out, Sunday school for children and younger youth was held during worship. That meant there was no worship service for children and youth and no Sunday school for adults.

At 12 years-of-age, I probably could have adjusted just fine to that church. I overheard my parents talking. My dad, in particular, voiced a concern for the arrangement. I suppose it could be said that it was just not the kind of arrangement to which he was accustomed. That's not how I heard it though. He seemed to be saying that there was a place for adults in Sunday school; adults still had things to learn.

Well, you probably guessed it. We wound up at the other UCC church which had a schedule more like the one we have here at CPCG.

I invited former DCE, Donna Heflin to share her thoughts about Sunday school for adults. Read her contribution to the DCE blog.

Why SS Is Important for Adults

As an adult, I have drifted from class to class -- not drifted because a wind blew me in that direction, but because of what was being offered and how that spoke to my life. So I guess you could say a spiritual wind did blow me in the direction of a particular Sunday School class. Sunday School has provided me a place to be with a smaller group of people to hear and express ideas that either comfort or stretch me: a place where questioning and disagreeing is permitted and encouraged and a place where rolling out of the chair laughter can be heard. During particularly stressful times in my life I've found a place of comfort in an adult Sunday school class. I married and had children late (by some people's standards). At CPCG you aren't viewed as incomplete because you aren't married/partnered or don't have kids.

I haven't found Sunday school to be a place where I felt compelled to race to find a particular scripture in the Bible first. In fact I've been known to have a brain freeze and forget an entire book of the Bible. You don't have to be a Bible scholar to attend. In fact sometimes the less you know can help because you don't have the excess baggage of particular ideas. We are constantly being formed in our faith journey.

All of these ideas of what an adult Sunday school class is are foreign to the ideas I grew up with in the church. As a child I thought when you become an adult you got all the answers to life's questions. It was shocking to discover there are actually more questions. As a child we did have "Sword Drills" where we raced to see who could find the most scripture passages first. What we didn't do was wrestle with those scriptures to discover how the passage spoke to our everyday lives as Christians. We were given lists of things to remember. But we weren't given the connection between those lists and the actions of a Christian life.

Why should you attend an adult Sunday school class at CPCG? People like Richard Raines and Blake Chappell will greet you with a warm smile making you feel welcome and accepted. You will have the opportunity to hear Frank Ward and Dudley Condron share ideas using word pictures you've never imagined. Jim Shannon might appear as a judge introducing the class to a lesson on "Judges". Teachers like Linda McGroom , Joyce Grimes and Davis Gray spend time preparing to introduce you to a Bible passage or concept in a way that can be remembered and drawn upon during the week.

Feel free to drift into the Adult Sunday School Class you choose. See Adult Class selections here.

Donna Heflin

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